A dog and an 11-month-old infant are dead after their caretaker left them in a hot car in New York on Tuesday. Police arrested 40-year-old Kristen Graham and charged her with felony child abuse and animal cruelty.
Woman leaves dog and infant in hot car for six hours
According to 10 On Your Side, on Tuesday around 1 a.m., Graham went to Newport News to visit a friend. She returned to her Seaford Road home around 8:30 a.m. Then, she left the dog and the infant girl alone in the car while she went inside to sleep.
“Once she got home, she rolled the window up in the car, turned the car off, left the dog and the child in the vehicle,” York-Poquoson Sheriff Ron Montgomery said.
The car windows were closed and soon, the heat index surpassed 100 degrees. Around 2:30 p.m., a phone call woke Graham. By then, both the dog and the infant were dead.
Apparently, Graham told two different versions of the event. First, she said she stayed in the car with the girl, named Myrical. Later, she said she left Myrical in the car because the child was sleeping.
“She would initially have us believe she was in the car with the child and the dog for that duration of time,” Montgomery said. “The evidence we have collected doesn’t support that information. We believe that she left them — went in the house, went to sleep and came back six hours later.”
After discovering the dead dog and infant, Graham called an unidentified man. He put the bodies of the dog and the infant in a black plastic bag. Then, they were dropped off at Mary Immaculate Hospital.
Regarding this part of the story, Montgomery said, “There really isn’t any good explanation for it. There is conflicting information in her statements.”
It is unknown at this time if Graham was under the influence of substances.
Loved ones devastated by tragedy
Tennille Shields, the roommate of Myrical and her mother, Arianna, was devastated by the news. She literally fell to the floor when she found out what happened.
“It’s like a dream I want to wake up from — a nightmare,” she told the news outlet. “This is something normal people don’t go through.”
Shields had the unfortunate task of telling Arianna that Myrical was dead. “She started screaming,” she said.
Graham is currently in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. Depending on the results of an autopsy, she may face a homicide charge.